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March 27, 2009
Re "Bank plan lifts the market," March 24 Scott Talbott, chief lobbyist of the trade group Financial Services Roundtable, is quoted as saying that the assets are toxic not "because they have no value; they're simply toxic because they have no market, and because there is no market we don't know what the price is." Does that mean the government will be willing to purchase my collection of collectible Elvis plates? Jim Endsley Lakewood -- So Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner "detailed the administration's innovative but untested plan for the government to invest alongside private firms to buy as much as $1 trillion of the troubled assets clogging the balance sheets of financial institutions."
April 15, 2014 | By Neela Banerjee
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday upheld the Environmental Protection Agency's first-ever limits on air toxics, including emissions of mercury, arsenic and acid gases, preserving a far-reaching rule the White House had touted as central to President Obama's environmental agenda. In a 2-to-1 decision, the court ruled that the mercury rule “was substantively and procedurally valid,” turning aside challenges brought both by Republican-led states that had argued the rule was onerous and environmental groups that had contended it did not go far enough.
May 25, 2010 | By Ashley Powers, Julie Cart and Bettina Boxall
In a sign of diminished confidence in BP's ability to manage the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, federal officials Monday said they intended to require the company to dramatically scale back its use of oil dispersants and would initiate their own tests on the chemicals' effect on sea life. With an oil spill of epic proportions looming offshore, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson — along with angry chorus of lawmakers — chided BP for its lack of transparency.
April 5, 2014 | Bill Plaschke
For more than a half century, few in this town have loved and lived the Lakers like Joe Smith. The former record mogul has four season seats on the baseline next to the Lakers bench. He has held those seats since the team arrived in Los Angeles. He has become as much of a fixture under the basket as the ballboys and Laker girls. No single ticket holder has endured longer, and certainly no single fan has invested more. For 54 years, Joe Smith has loved the Lakers graciously, gratefully and unconditionally.
April 25, 1989
Solano County authorities evacuated dozens of residents within a half mile of a barn holding 70,000 gallons of illegally stored toxic chemicals, including explosives. The materials, many stored in leaky containers, were found by the state Department of Food and Agriculture, acting on a tip, at a rural site north of the Sacramento River between Sacramento and San Francisco. Investigators found chemicals used in munitions that had been stored in the barn in drums since 1981. Deputy Dist.
August 14, 2009 | Ralph Vartabedian
A controversial $40-billion government program to buy toxic securities from ailing banks has a flaw that law enforcement and financial experts say could allow traders to illegally profit from inside information. Critics of the program say that without adequate safeguards, traders could use the tens of billions of dollars provided by the government to manipulate prices and exploit the price swings in other trades. Because the government is providing 75% of the program's money -- $30 billion -- the manipulations could lead to significant losses by taxpayers.
April 20, 1989 | JESSE KATZ, Times Staff Writer
If the toxic blaze that drew emergency crews from three counties to a Saticoy chemical plant last week had occurred 10 years ago, firefighters might have treated it as just another routine call. The 1,500 residents sent fleeing for shelter probably would have been allowed to stay put. The two fire trucks that were left at the site for three days while they were checked for poisonous residue probably would have been driven off. And the charred and potentially contaminated debris being studied by scientists probably would have ended up in a trash dumpster.
January 16, 2004
"Ancestral Diet Gone Toxic" (Jan. 13) reports that Greenland's Inuit tribes contain levels of toxic chemicals in their bodies so high that some human tissues could be classified as hazardous waste. This should serve as a wake-up call to the public and policymakers in California, where billions of pounds of industrial chemicals and pesticides are released each year. Recently, the University of California and state health agencies tested blood and fat tissue samples of women living in California for toxic flame retardants, called polybrominated diphenyl ethers, and found them to be among the highest in the world.
March 30, 2009 | TIMES WIRE REPORTS
Residents of five communities in Queensland took part in the inaugural Toad Day Out event, killing thousands of poisonous cane toads amid a festive mood. The toads can grow as long as 8 inches. They were imported from South America to Queensland in 1935 in a failed attempt to control beetles on sugar cane plantations. But the toads couldn't jump high enough to eat the beetles, which live on top of cane stalks. The toads bred rapidly, and they now threaten many local species. They spread diseases, such as salmonella, and produce highly toxic venom.
June 22, 1989 | MARTHA L. WILLMAN, Times Staff Writer
The owner of the former Franciscan Ceramics manufacturing plant in Atwater hopes to begin work within two weeks to clean up asbestos, lead, zinc and other toxic deposits on the 45-acre site that he plans to develop into a shopping center. Meantime, officials of the Los Angeles Unified School District said this week that they are also looking at the property as a potential site for a new high school. They could acquire the property through eminent domain proceedings. Bob Niccum, district director of real estate, said he will ask the Board of Education on Monday to authorize a formal study of a proposal to purchase the Franciscan site to build a school to relieve overcrowding at Belmont, Marshall and Eagle Rock high schools.
March 21, 2014 | By David Zucchino
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. - Yanking aside a tree branch, Jason Watson peered into a waterlogged trench. He pointed out discolored metal drums sunk halfway in the water. "Blister agents, choking agents, blood agents," Watson said, listing the array of chemical weapons inside thousands of metal containers that were buried on this 38,000-acre base after World War II. Watson is part of a team charged with finding, identifying and eventually cleaning up 17 long trenches that snake for six miles, crammed with World War II chemical agents and munitions.
March 19, 2014 | By Robin Abcarian, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
BERKELEY - Something was definitely amiss when I returned to my hotel Tuesday afternoon after an interview on the UC Berkeley campus. At least three big firetrucks were blocking the street in front of the Berkeley City Club, a historic women's club converted into a hotel just south of campus on Durant Avenue. The street was closed by yellow police tape. Berkeley police officers redirected traffic. I ditched my car in a loading zone and ducked under the tape. A fireman standing next to his truck told me there was a “hazardous materials” situation going on, but that I was free to enter the building.
March 11, 2014 | By Jessica Garrison and Abby Sewell
Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to create a "strike team" that will target facilities that emit toxic pollutants - the first being the Exide Technologies battery recycling plant in Vernon. The team of public health officials, prosecutors, fire department officials and others will look for ways to close the plant, which has been accused of endangering the health of more than 100,000 people with lead and arsenic emissions. The state Department of Toxic Substances Control and the South Coast Air Quality Management District regulate the plant, but Supervisor Gloria Molina said she has grown frustrated with what she views as a lack of swift action to protect public health.
March 11, 2014 | By Abby Sewell
Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to create a county "strike team" that will target facilities that emit toxic pollutants - the first being the Exide Technologies battery-recycling plant in Vernon. The team of county public-health officials, prosecutors, fire department officials and others will look for ways to close the plant. The facility is operating on a temporary permit.  The county staff members will also use state data to identify which communities have the greatest health risk because of toxic chemicals and which facilities are emitting toxic pollutants in those communities.
March 8, 2014 | By Amina Khan
In a young, nearby solar system, scientists have discovered giant clouds of poison gas -- the smoking gun from a violent encounter, astronomers say. Based on massive amounts of carbon monoxide gas around the star Beta Pictoris, either two Mars-sized planets slammed into each other with catastrophic results, or hordes of comets are crashing into one another at an astounding rate. The findings, published by the journal Science, could help provide an up-close look at how stars and their planetary systems form and evolve.
March 5, 2014 | By Jessica Garrison
Decrying the slow response of state agencies to the public health threat posed by a Vernon battery recycler and other polluting facilities, Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina on Wednesday called for the creation of a county “toxic threat strike team” that could take action when the state fails to do so. The plan calls for county public health officials, prosecutors, fire department officials and others to identify the most dangerous...
November 1, 2009 | Frank Clifford
More than 60 years after scientists assembled the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, lethal waste is seeping from mountain burial sites and moving toward aquifers, springs and streams that provide water to 250,000 residents of northern New Mexico. Isolated on a high plateau, the Los Alamos National Laboratory seemed an ideal place to store a bomb factory's deadly debris. But the heavily fractured mountains haven't contained the waste, some of which has trickled down hundreds of feet to the edge of the Rio Grande, one of the most important water sources in the Southwest.
June 30, 2010 | By Richard Fausset, Los Angeles Times
The Environmental Protection Agency issued a study Wednesday that found that the dispersant being used by BP in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as seven alternative mass-produced dispersants, all fell within the range of "practically non-toxic" to "slightly toxic." The conclusions, although preliminary, appear to support BP's contention that there is little difference between Corexit 9500 and other dispersants available on the market, an argument the oil giant used in rebuffing EPA's order in May to stop using the chemical.
February 25, 2014 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING - To mask or not to mask -- that is still a question. A huge swath of northeast China -- more than 10% of the country's landmass -- is again engulfed in toxic smog. Beijing's air quality index, as measured by the U.S. Embassy, hit “hazardous” territory for a sixth day running Tuesday. No relief is expected in the capital until at least Thursday. The murky gray haze cut visibility on roads, reduced the sun to a faint, moon-like tangerine orb in the sky and prompted the city to issue an “orange alert” -- one step away from the most serious level, red. About 150 industrial companies have either halted or curbed production to cut down on emissions, Beijing has dispatched tanker trucks to spray roads with water to reduce particulates and the state-run Xinhua news agency is reminding people to avoid outdoor activities and to wear masks.
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